What is AE?

What is AE?’, seems like an easy question to answer, right? AE refers to conditions where the body’s immune system, whose job is to fight infection, mistakenly attacks healthy brain cells causing neurologic and psychiatric symptoms. But what does that really mean? And what if you or a loved one gets this diagnosis and everything is spiraling out of control? What can you expect?

Alexis Wilsey, Hailey Chambers and Faye Oakes, all Duke medical students, are completing their research in the Duke Autoimmune Brain Disorders Clinic. They have seen first-hand how scary and overwhelming getting this diagnosis can be for both the patient and the family. They wanted to create up-to-date and understandable resources to help guide patients and their families through diagnosis and treatment. What is AE? is the first, in a series of white-board educational videos, and it is amazing! Not only for a newly diagnosed family but also to share with others to help them understand what this rare and complex disease is all about.

Alexis holds a BS in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati and will graduate in 2022.  She plans to be a Pediatrician. Hailey holds a BS in Biology from the College of Idaho, graduating in 2021.  She, too, wants to become a Pediatrician. Faye has a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University, she will graduate in 2022 and plans on applying in Psychiatry. All three work closely with their research mentors in Duke’s Autoimmune Brain Disorders Clinic; Dr. Heather Van Mater, Dr. Carolyn Pizoli and Dr. GenaLynne Mooneyham, all experts in the field of AE.

Thank you, Alexis, Hailey, and Faye for sharing this valuable resource with AE Alliance and its community!